Sunday, August 06, 2023
For four days every August, literally hundreds of thousands* of young people descend upon Grant Park for Lollapalooza and live alternative rock, metal, punk, hip hop and dance music. Waylon Jennings even played it one year, so I guess I should include country in that list. Still, it's safe to say that at 65, I am not in the Lollapalooza demographic.
Though I did attend once myself, in 2015, to see Sir Paul on the main stage, I generally try to avoid the Loop during Lolla. It's crowded. There's an influx of tourists who stand in the middle of the sidewalk (or worse, the street) trying to figure out where they're going when I'm in a hurry. Plus, August is always hot and I don't do heat, so things that would merely annoy me under normal circumstances really, REALLY grate!
But that was before. For the first August in 48 years, I'm not a working girl. So I'm really in no rush most of the time. And it was only in the 70s on this rainy Sunday, so it was certainly bearable. When my newly retired herself friend Elaine invited me to go to the Art Institute of Chicago with her to see the special Van Gogh exhibit, I said, "sure."
It was raining as I walked the half hour to Michigan Avenue and the Art Institute. On the way I tried to remember the last time I went in. I believe it was in 1992, right after Bill Clinton was elected and my niece was born. Considering we've had six Presidential elections since then, and my niece just moved into her first home with her husband, I think I was past due for a return visit.
Elaine is a member so we were able to skip the line and just float into the exhibit. In addition to all the Van Goghs, we saw The Picture of Dorian Gray by Ivan Albright. Elaine liked it better than I did, but it gave us something to discuss over lunch. We speculated about how our "soul" portraits might look. I told her that since she handled the end of her working career with such dignity, hers probably looks just fine. That seemed to make her happy. I was happy to help. After all, it wasn't that long ago that I was struggling to adjust to retirement.
*It was 400,000 last year